GuideMining

[Guide] Choosing PCI-E Risers For GPU Mining Rigs – 2018

A definitive guide to finding the best PCI-E risers for your mining rigs

pcie-riser-guide-2018

If you are currently around figuring out what is PCIe or Risers then you might have heard these words. Today we are going to sum what are RISERS and why they are used and are important!

You can easily classify cryptocurrencies into two main categories – mineable and non-mineable. Non-mineable cryptocurrencies usually verify transactions by some form of voting.

On the other hand, mineable cryptocurrencies use Proof of Work algorithms to mine blocks of transactions. Examples of mineable cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Zcash etc.

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Read: Proof of Work & Proof of Stake – What are they all about?

So apart from investing and trading another way to earn some money from cryptocurrencies is mining. Mining nodes are equipped with special hardware to mine the said cryptocurrency. These miners can be ASICs, GPU rigs or even CPU rigs.

Whenever the cryptocurrency network generates a new transaction block, it announces that to the miners. Then the real race begins. The miners work to find the ideal hash of the transaction block. The first one to find the hash gets the block reward from the network.

We have published a few articles on how to build mining rigs. We also have articles on choosing components and parts for your rig. But we have not really spoken about PCIe risers much.

Read: 13 GPU Profitable ZCash Mining Rig – 2018

So I thought it would be a good idea to make a post about it. So in this post, we are going to talk about PCIe risers. And I am also going to suggest some for your next rig.

Ledger Nano S - The multi-currency hardware wallet

WHY DO WE NEED PCIE RISERS?

First of all, let’s answer why do we really need the PCIe risers. If you have seen motherboards you most probably have noticed the PCIe slots. If the motherboard is not specifically made for multi-graphics card operation then chances are the PCIe slots are extremely close to each other.

This a big issue since you will not be able to place multiple graphics cards on the motherboard. But let’s suppose the motherboard is multiple graphics cards friendly.

Even then usually you will be able to connect only three graphics cards at the most. So all the other PCIe slots will go unused. Why invest in another expensive motherboard when you can connect multiple to just one.

This is why we need the PCIe risers. Just as the name suggests the main task of a PCIe riser is to physically “rise” the PCIe slot. A PCIe riser usually has two main components.

It has a small PCIe x1 card that attaches to the actual PCIe slot on the motherboard. There is also a full-size PCIe slot just like the one on the motherboard. And the graphics card connects to this slot instead. Both of these cards are connected by a USB cable.

By raising the graphics cards away from the motherboard PCIe risers allow us to connect multiple cards without any hassle. Not only this, it also allows us to place the graphics cards conveniently.

Ledger Nano S - The multi-currency hardware wallet

So we can cool the cards better. And makes it easier to maintain the graphics cards in the long run as well. So I would say a PCIe riser also increases the lifespan of your graphics card indirectly.

Read: [How To] Maintain & Cool Your ASIC & GPU Mining Rigs

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PCI-E RISERS?

There are mainly two types of PCIe risers. Let’s discuss them below.

UNPOWERED PCIE RISERS

As the name suggests, an unpowered riser does not have provisions for connecting external power to the PCIe slot. Sometimes unpowered risers are called ribbons or extension cables.

POWERED PCIE RISERS

A powered PCIe riser is the complete opposite of an unpowered PCIe riser. These risers usually have a four-pin Molex port to supply power directly to it.

WHICH ONE’S BETTER? POWERED VS UNPOWERED PCI-E RISERS.

This is a bit of a controversial question. Powered ones allow you to supply +12V directly to it. So reduces the chance of frying your motherboard.

Then some people argue that current graphics cards use external PCIe power connectors to draw electricity. So they don’t really draw that much power from the PCIe slot itself. That is why using an unpowered riser won’t cause any trouble.

But in my opinion, it’s safer to use a powered one over an unpowered PCIe riser. Some of the newer mining oriented motherboards also have additional Molex slots on the board. Examples include ASRock H110 Pro BTC Plus, ASUS B250 Mining Expert etc.

Read: [Guide] Choosing GPU Mining Motherboard – 2018

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PCIE RISER?

A PCIe riser is not really a complicated piece of hardware. So there’s no point being too picky about choosing the PCIe risers. Instead, invest that time into choosing other components like graphics cards, motherboard etc.

But I do suggest getting a powered PCIe over an unpowered one. Also, try looking for a PCIe riser with USB 3.0 support. Keep a close eye on the reviews of a PCIe riser too.

BEST PICKS FROM AMAZON

To make the mining experience hassle-free I have picked two best-selling PCIe risers from Amazon.

RELPER-LINESO PCI-E RISER

relper-lineso-pcie-riser

There’s not much to talk about it. I have personally used this product for my own rigs. These risers have worked perfectly for me and so have for most buyers on Amazon.

The risers cost only $9.48 per piece and $43.88 for the six-pack. I suggest not using the Molex to SATA power cable provided by the manufacturer.

Instead, attach a Molex line from your PSU.

MAILIYA PCI-E RISER

mailiya-pcie-riser

This product is new on Amazon and selling out like hot cake! I have also used this riser for my one of my own rigs. The Mailiya risers have four capacitors in their circuit.

Instead of Molex connectors, these risers use six-pin PCIe connectors like most graphics cards. They also provide six-pin PCIe to SATA cable but I don’t recommend using them.

Mailiya risers sell either in packs of two or packs of six. The two-pack costs only $18.99 while the six-pack costs only $49.98.

FINAL WORDS

This brings us to the end of another guide. I hope you enjoyed it like all our other articles. Coinsuggest’s mission is to educate netizens about cryptocurrencies and mining. And I believe this post has helped you in choosing the PCIe risers for your next build.

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Indrasish Banerjee

Hello, I'm Indrasish Banerjee. A budding software developer, a musician by hobby and a cryptocurrency enthusiast by choice. I love everything remotely related to the blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. I know that these are the future of the world economy. I'm a regular writer here on Coinsuggest. Please follow my works to keep yourself up to date with new technologies in the cryptocurrency space. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mutantthumb

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